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JPMorgan Chase launches new healthcare-focused unit for U.S. employees

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A view of the exterior of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. corporate headquarters in New York City May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar

May 20 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) said on Thursday it launched a unit aimed at improving healthcare for its U.S. employees, months after its similar joint venture with Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) was disbanded.

The unit, Morgan Health, will initially invest up to $250 million and work with the JPMorgan Chase's benefits team to collaborate with other healthcare organisations to improve care for its staff in the United States. It will be headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Dan Mendelson, founder and former CEO of health consultancy firm Avalere Health, will lead the unit and report to the bank's Vice Chairman Pete Scher. Mendelson was also the associate director of health in the White House Office of Management and Budget under the Clinton administration.

Haven, the joint venture between the three companies to lower healthcare costs for their U.S. employees, was disbanded in February. Its launch had raised concerns among other healthcare companies who feared a disruption in traditional insurance and drug benefit businesses. read more

The bank also said it has 165,000 employees in the U.S. and provides health insurance coverage to 285,000 employees and dependents.

Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and Elizabeth Dilts Marshall in New York; editing by Uttaresh.V

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